Minute to Win It – Let’s Clean It!


Four children. Some dogs. The cat. A hamster. And neighborhood kids running in and out of my house. It take all of a hot minute for it to look like a tornado came through the front door and blew through here. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. A messy home just means humans and their well-loved pets live there. But eventually someone has to clean. Since we are well past the toddler and preschool days, my crew knows they have to help tidy things up on a regular basis. It’s great having older kids who are responsible and…a little bit competitive. They like to see who can do the most in 60 seconds. What can they clean in one minute? Lots!

Kitchen: Counters can be wiped down in one minute as well as the electric stove top and the front of the fridge. (I’m convinced someone really needs to study the unique microbiology of sticky fridge handles someday.) We like using microfiber clothes and all-purpose cleaning spray for ease with these quick tasks. Our Roomba does a good job with the daily maintenance of keeping crumbs and pet hair at bay, but there’s always more on the floor. My kids can take 60 seconds to clean the kitchen and dining room areas with the Shark Vac Mop. They think the Shark is fun – it’s just their size and not too loud. Even the neighbor girl asked to have a turn using it.

Living Room: If each kid puts in one minute of work to put throw pillows back on the couch, return blankets where they belong, or vacuum up the popcorn bits, it takes really no time at all to clean up from a Friday night movie. Shoes are supposed to stay by the front door, but sometimes they drift into the path of traffic. Same for piano books and volleyball gear and and school backpacks. I usually ask the owner of these specific items to spend a minute putting things away so they’re no longer on the floor.

Bathroom: My kids are in agreement – the less time they have to spend cleaning the bathroom, the better. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long to adequately clean the bathroom. The sink top and facets can but wiped off in less than a minutes as well as Windex the mirror. Sometimes, these tasks can get done at the end of the day when the last kid has finished brushing teeth. Sometimes, cleaning has to wait until the weekend. And my crew usually waits to clean with the ToiletWand even though it really only is 60 seconds of scrubbing with the disposable heads.

Backyard: This is one area that is rarely clean, and I’m just fine with that. Nerf Guns, tennis rackets, and dog items are everywhere…until it’s time to mow the yard. And then I have my children just toss everything into the outdoor toy box. It’s picked up in 60 seconds or less when everyone pitches in, and that includes the kids from across the street who are happy to race my crew in a minute to win it and clean it. And the prize is often popsicles for everyone.